City Departments

Phil Kline's Unsilent Night

Phil Kline's Unsilent Night
Music, art and architecture combine for an avant-garde experience. Bring your mp3 with speakers or your portable CD player and join the moving symphony.

Phil Kline's Unsilent Night is a free outdoor participatory sound sculpture of many individual parts, recorded on cassettes, CDs and mp3s, and played through a roving swarm of boomboxes carried through city streets. Since 1992, this 45-minute work has grown into a worldwide annual communal event that has become an essential part of many winter holiday celebrations.

Experience it for yourself!

Bring your mp3 player with speakers or your portable CD or tape player to simultaneously play an outdoor ambient music piece.

It's like a Christmas caroling party except that we don't sing, but rather carry the music, each of us playing a separate track that is a voice in the piece. We will walk from City Hall through historic downtown Cambridge and return to City Hall for the event's finale. While the ambient music delights your ears, your eyes will be treated to light installations along the route.

How do you get the music?

Download instructions

A limited number of CDs and cassettes for you to play on your music player are available at the event, and there are also a limited number of Mp3 players with speakers that can be borrowed for the evening. Pick these up inside City Hall the evening of the event.

Do I need a portable music player to participate?

The more music the better the experience, but if you don't have a portable music player, you are still more than welcome to participate in the walk, hear the music, and see the lights.

Unsilent Night was the 2008 Winner of the following awards:

Breakthrough Award at Cambridge Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Awards! For details click here